Three steps to a quantum shift in thinking
'A quiet mind brings infinite benefits' Mark Elliott
I would describe high performance as the ability to keep a calm mind regardless of any external circumstance.
In this age of technology, we are constantly exposed to the idea that multitasking, data consumption, and the ability to always be available is the key to success when in reality this thought breeds overload, distraction and reduces energy.
The threat can become an unwelcome reality to an unguarded mind progressing to a nasty cocktail of fear, doubt, stress, and anxiety.
On the other hand, as the Buddhist Master Shantideva wrote a mind that is impassive like a block of wood can protect you against impatience, greed, desire, and the false sense of self-importance.
With this mind, an individual can become calm, peaceful, and present. This mindset enables right thinking, right speech, and right action free from guilt for the past and worry for the future.
A mind like this can be achieved through the following three steps:
1. A regular meditation practice
2. The wish to live for the benefit of others.
3. Renunciation from the trappings of modern life.
1 - Meditation:
As Geshla Kelsang Gyatso wrote in the book Modern Buddhism: “Meditation is a mind that contemplates on a virtuous object and is the real cause of mental peace”
A meditation practice can be set up by finding a quiet place to sit with your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and watching your breath for a few moments. When your thoughts wander simply return to your breath. A few minutes of this each day can lower the heart rate, clarity of thoughts, and bring calmness.
2 - Living for the benefit of others:
The most joyful moments in my life have been when I have lived for the benefit of others. Instead of trying to fulfill my wishes which have no end to their cravings, seeking to make others happy brings no end to my joy.
In Buddhism, this practice is called Bodhicitta. In the book ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life’ Shantideva writes” Whereas all other virtues are like the plantain trees, In that they are exhausted once they bare fruit, The enduring celestial tree of Bodhicitta is not exhausted but increases by bearing fruit.
3 - Renunciation:
Motivated by a better mindset through meditation and better actions through Bodhicitta we can solidify this change in mindset by formally rejecting the trappings of today. This action is not easy however through meditation and living for others progress can be made one step at a time.
This alternative way of thinking requires an individual to know why they wish to improve their mind for the long term along with the resilience to ignore any distractions that can delay this positive transformation.
I dedicate this blog to my spiritual guide Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. 1931 - 2022. My favorite quote of his is" Without inner peace outer peace is impossible"
If you would like to learn more I have free courses on youtube and daily thoughts on my socials. If you wish to deepen your understanding I offer mentorship through my coaching programs at www.encouragecoaching.net
Thanks for reading, I hope this article during mental health awareness week has been of benefit.
Have a great day,